Status and Overhead
- date: 2018-12-31
- belief: emotional
- status: notes
Since August, I have been overly concerned with status and overhead. I’m taken up with status, I think, because it’s new to me. Prior to Boulder, I was in Olympia, and I didn’t interact with anyone (in person, at least) who actually put me into rank.
I’m newly stressed out by “overhead”: both in the sense of labor-time and in the sense of being plainly confused.
(Perhaps I should have taken more rigorous prerequisite courses? Or exerted myself more diligently over the summer prior to graduate school?)
Here’s a skeleton argument to dismiss both concerns as frivolous and distracting:
- It’s just culture shock. Olympia is a backwoods compared to Boulder, and certainly Boulder is a backwoods compared to larger metropolitan areas.
- It encourages me to over-commit. For example, I botched the neural network podcast. But why did I feel like I should I have gotten involved in the first place?
- It’s timocratical. Just a love of honor. What sort of motivation is that?
- It’s foolish. For example, I broke my hand while biking without enough sleep.
- It’s inevitable: I will always have less technical knowledge than is good for me.
- It’s easily dealt with by being modest.
- It’s required. For example, TA-ing is a condition of my studies.
Each of the 5 days before finals I felt decent: I could work all day, I was competing directly with myself, and I wasn’t responsible for new material. I also settled into a paper-based workflow. I carried around a few notebooks with as many practice exams as I needed, and I stopped updating quamash.net.